The 3Cs of Crowdfunding
Create: You’ve got an idea. It might be for a startup, a student business, a new product, a community or social venture, but you have an idea. You created that idea. To turn it into reality you need to create a compelling campaign, to tell your story in such an engaging way the people not only want to help you, but they will ask their friends and family to help you too.
Be creative with your project, create a must-see video (it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money), something that people will watch and share, and create a series of must-have rewards, from a spectacular public thank you to an all-singing all-dancing first off the line product that they helped fund.
Look at every aspect of your crowdfunding campaign and ask yourself if it’s the most creative, most exciting, most rewarding, most inspirational, most desirable, most memorable you can possibly make it. If the answer’s no, then try again.
Connect: Crowdfunding is all about linking people with ideas to people with money and expertise to help them make it happen. It’s about using social networks with global reach to deliver local impact. Use your networks, work them carefully, it’s what networking and connecting is all about.
Increase your network before you start crowdfunding and start to talk to them about what you’re doing, why, and how they can help. Search social networking sites for the most relevant groups and discussions and join in. Then, when your project goes live they are already up to speed with what you’re doing and what you need them to do for you.
Keep connecting during your project campaign, you need to post regularly to all the sites you’re linked to, you need to be publicly thanking your supporters on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn and you need to be keeping everyone up to date with your progress.
Make good connections during your crowdfunding campaign and you can be sure that you’ll finish the campaign with an engaged audience that wants to continue to support you, a customer-base that wants you succeed, and proof of the market appetite for your idea.
Collaborate: You can use your crowdfunding campaign to seek advice and support – as well as money – harnessing the wisdom of the crowd. All those people you need to help you are out there, ready and willing to help. You just need to know how to find them, how to engage with them, how to reward them, and how to thank them.
Start to look at your own network and see who could be helpful, look at their network and see if they know anyone that would be useful to you and your project, and start to build relationships. Post questions on Twitter, into LinkedIn groups, on FB pages of individuals and organisations with a sjmilar interest. People love to help, but they won’t know you need it unless you ask. Find out which companies, organisations, academic or charitable institutions are expert in your field, and talk to them.
Ask for advice, ask about their experiences, and then, when you’ve successfully completed your project make sure you jump back into the crowdfunding world and offer your advice and experience to others.